Category Archives: Geekdom

The Horizon

Tonight, as I drove along the long stretch of road from Longview to Dallas, Texas, I couldn’t help but wonder how far away the horizon is.

Now, I’m not completely math illiterate, so I decided to figure it out. The problem is… My answer doesn’t seem right. Perhaps I have done something wrong. See if any of you find a mistake in my method:

Assumptions:
The Earth is perfectly round
Our test subject is 5.8 feet tall.
Because the Earth is so big, the distance ‘x’ (shown below) is a close enough approximation of the arc length and actual driving distance to the horizon.

Okay! Calculation time!
According to Wikipedia, the radius of the earth is an average of about 3956.545 miles * 5280 ft/mile=
20890557.6 ft

Add 5.8 feet to that and we get a hypotenuse of 20890563.4 ft

earthhorizon.PNG

according to Pythagoras
20890557.6^2 + x^2 = 20890563.4^2

or

436415396838917.76
+
x^2
=
436415639169419.56

so x^2 = 24330501.8

x is about equal to 15566.96 ft

Divide by 5280 and we get… 2.948 miles. That’s so… short… did I do something wrong?

Weekend Update

This weekend was decidedly mixed.

Thanksgiving was, of course, splendid. Any holiday that pulls family together and offers two days off from work gets a recommendation from me. Friday after an exciting breakfast with Abby and Ted, I got a haircut and then tried to zip back to CT in time for Kung Fu. I didn’t make it in time, so instead I went to Tony and Paulette’s place for some pizza and some Guitar Hero III.

Most of Saturday was spent researching my paper.

Let’s talk paper for a second.

The class is international business. What I need to do is write a 10 page single spaced paper that talks about something relating to international business. I want to write about intellectual property. My original thesis was an attempt to try and show that the sharing of intellectual property with developing countries is better for mankind. But right now, after a few weeks of research I want to say that really… we need something totally different. Capitalism based intellectual property hoarding seems to work, but it’s not very efficient. Peer Production seems genius and super efficient, but there are some fundamental difficulties that relate to what sorts of markets can benefit from creative donated collaboration.

If we look through the Kaleidoscope of Geekery, we’ll notice that Star Trek operated off of a Peer Production basis where the characters were not rewarded with monetary funds but instead with notoriety. Of course they had replicators for food. Star Wars was a capitalistic society. Perhaps my thesis should talk about what changes would be necessary from our current international business system if we were to start engaging in intergalactic business.

Anyway, my changing my thesis to “we need something new” is weak. It’s not quite specific enough – nor does it have as much to do with international business. So with a monster paper due in four days… I don’t know what to do.

Continuing with the weekend, Saturday night I watched the new Die Hard movie with the Scott family. It was hilariously fun. Sunday was spent working on the paper, doing chores, and playing about two hours of Rockband.

Now, it’s totally cool if you want to criticize me for playing Rockband when I have a huge paper due because Rockband… is probably the most amazing game ever. With Shaun on the guitar and me on the drums… well… it was two hours of intensity like none other.

Font Cities

At lunch this week Jocelyn and I were talking about text fonts and cities. The question is: If you had to choose a font to describe a city in its entirety, what font would you choose? Let’s take a look at Hartford, first we’ll start simply by describing the city, then we’ll try to find a font that screams ‘Hartford’

Hartford has a lot of insurance companies. Not many people live in the city and it’s about as far as you can get from ‘college town.’ It’s reasonably clean and seems to be a growing city. It has a good museum scene. It’s somewhat modern but it’s kind of tough to drive around. The public transportation is poor at best, but there’s a decent amount of parking.

Now for fonts… start by checking out this monster image of fonts:

now… think Hartford.

Hartford is too modern for a Times New Roman and too formal to be anywhere near Wingdings. Courier New isn’t a bad choice, but I think Hartford has enough complexity to it to escape the burdensome scenario where each letter takes up the exact same number of longitudinal pixels.* And obviously, Hartford is not a script font.

Then there’s Ariel. Not a bad choice really, it doesn’t have any serifs (I don’t think Hartford is quite worthy of serifs). It might be just a tad bit too boring for Hartford. It shouldn’t be a bold or italicized font. Century is too classy. Helvetica… Helvetica could work. So could Raavi.

I think I prefer Raavi.

What font do you think best describes your city?

*there’s a word for this type of font. Anyone know it?

oh no.

I just found out* I have a 10 page paper due in my international business class Friday. AND I had already agreed to go to Karaoke tonight. I hope ear bursting Journey tunes will provide enough energy for me to stay up for the next 60 hours to write this paper.

*we were actually told about this long ago**. I just forgot entirely until a classmate reminded me.
**long ago = about 4 weeks. But really. I just found out*(***)
***recursive footnotes!!!

All this work has been destructive to the invoker.

Work and Academics have created a significant barrier to my levels of fitness.

Lunch: instead of going to the gym as I normally do… I’ve been working on work and working on homework

After work: instead of going to Kung Fu, I’ve been doing homework and going to class

It’s been really annoying. It’s like, I only have a certain number of skill points and I need to choose which abilities should be focused on. do I keep up with my academics and career? or do I get into super great shape. (pictorial representation of decision).

Writing this down has increased my determination to overcome this barrier. I will renew my efforts to maintain fitness, education, and career. I’ll let you know how it goes.